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How We Utilize Family Photographs

We will be mentioning family photographs throughout this book for two reasons. The first relates to those who have the editing capability to include these family pictures in their videos. The second reason we mention family photographs is because they can be the perfect catalyst to get our subject ready for the interview. Now let's get the memories flowing using pictures. When we arrive at the subject's house, either before we set up the equipment or afterwards, we look at some family pictures. While this is not necessary, we have found our videos will be better if we include this step. Of course some of the newest innovations in cell phone accessories not only make calls, but have allowed us to capture candid pictures with an ease that is unprecedented. Along with more recent photos, we ask our subjects to have a few picture albums available that we can look at together when we arrive. We also prompt them to have some of their oldest photos available for us to review. If they're nervous or reluctant, we can do this as soon as we get there. If possible, we like to get our interview area and equipment set up and then spend a little time looking at pictures. It creates what I call "memory momentum" if we can start the interview fairly soon after looking at the pictures. We're very clear that we only want to look at pictures to get their memories "warmed up". We don't want to start the interview while they're still looking at these albums. Don't do this sitting in the interview area. You'll be hard pressed to get the albums out of their hands. During the interview we want them looking at the camera and remembering stories. You will get a feel for when it's time to put the pictures down and start the interview. Don't let them use up all of their energy before getting them in front of the camera. Depending on the age of you subject, this may be very important to keep things moving along. Since we are talking about including these pictures on the video, we want to be specific about what we ask for and make sure this part of the process doesn't take up more time that we have planned. If you are going to include pictures during post-production, there is an important decision to be made about how you will capture these images. In most cases, these current pictures are valuable but some antique pictures are considered priceless. Typically they are one-of-a-kind. This means that if you take these pictures out of the home, you have a serious responsibility. For a number of years, we would take a scanner along with the laptop to our client's homes. Though it would make the entire shoot considerably longer, we would scan the pictures we were going to use into the laptop. This did make it easier to sleep at night. Because of the added time element, we now sometimes take pictures with us. You should also know however, that we take these pictures directly to a safety deposit box. We only retrieve them when we are ready to scan the entire collection of pictures into our system. We then return these pictures to the safety deposit box until we were able to return them to our clients. If you decide to create Life History Videos on a professional level, we suggest you seek legal advice about the pros and cons of removing pictures from your client's homes. In some ways it could be worse with a family member. This is not to discourage you from inserting pictures into your Life History Videos. It is to make you are aware that you must handle this aspect of your project with a great deal of thought and consideration for the property and memories of your subject.

 


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